However, a few commonalities exist. The following are some of the most frequent injuries that take place after car accidents and how they’re treated.
One of the more common soft tissue injuries of them all, whiplash occurs when the head jerks violently, creating stress on the spine and neck. Though it can develop in almost any crash scenario, it’s most common after a rear-end collision. In 2015, the most recent year where data is available, nearly one-third of all crashes were rear-enders, according to the NHTSA’s analysis. Though these accidents tend to be less significant, the adverse health effects can be long-lasting.
Because whiplash symptoms can take time to develop, it can often go undiagnosed, according to the American Chiropractic Association. However, when detected, treatment often includes muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory prescription medications, range of motion exercises and physical therapy, the National Institutes of Health indicated. In addition, because whiplash can take time to heal, the injury also frequently results in reduced work productivity, resulting from employee absences.
Severe blows to the head have been in the news a lot lately, especially as they pertain to sports. Indeed, according to a University of Pittsburgh study, an estimated 300,000 sports-related concussions happen every year in the U.S.
They’re also common after car accidents, and diagnosed when symptoms include headache, nausea, double vision or heightened sensitivity to light or loud noises, among others. Concussion severity varies, but the more serious variety result from loss of cautiousness after a crash or confusion in the immediate aftermath. These symptoms may last longer and are distinguishing characteristics of post-concussion syndrome.
Because the concussion injury spectrum is wide, treatment varies. It may involve over-the-counter pain medicine and plenty of rest, or perhaps even surgery if brain scans reveal swelling or internal bleeding.
3. Herniated disc
Just about any back injury can be potentially debilitating, mainly because the back is involved in so many physical actions. They often stem from the small discs that line the back. When just one of these discs is out of alignment, which may happen after a crash, a rupture may develop, resulting in sharp pain. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, other symptoms of a herniated disc include weakness, low back ache and sciatica, a nerve-related injury felt in other parts of the body besides the back, like the thighs.